Pike National Forest in March

Spring Day in the Mountains 

The weather cooperated today for the most part, it was in the high 40’s with intermittent rain, so I headed into the mountains to do some scouting, and I thought I would share some pictures of my day with you, they can be seen below.  The pictures didn’t come out great; it really was much more beautiful than these pictures show.  But since I left my camera at home, I had to use my phone to take these pictures. This highlights one of the reasons I like to take trips like this in the off-season; to make sure I always bring the right stuff with me, which I clearly didn’t today.

It was a great day to be out, the weather was perfect for hiking in the mountains, and I dressed just right so that I wasn’t heating up too much from the hike, or getting too cold when I sat and glassed several areas.  I went a little over 5 miles into the Pike National Forest, and it was just beautiful.  I didn’t see another person all day, I found good sign for turkey, and I saw 7 deer, a herd of 18 elk, several rabbits, and a fox.  I didn’t find any antler sheds though; I was a bit disappointed about that.

Another reason I like to take trips like this is to test out my gear, and today after hiking through a lot of snow, I now know that my boots need a new coating of mink oil, which I use to waterproof them.  My feet didn’t get too wet, but enough that I need to treat my boots before the hunting season.  I also used a new day pack today for the second time, and it was good to familiarize myself with it even more, to know where it is best to store certain things, or learn how to adjust all of the straps so the pack feels the most comfortable on my back.  In addition to my basic survival gear, I packed some extra things in my pack that I didn’t need today, but that I will need in the turkey and elk seasons, just to see how it felt with the added weight, and I was quite pleased with the performance of the pack.

Other than an occasional breeze, it was completely silent in the woods today.  I stopped at several places to use my binoculars to scan the surroundings, and I felt so alone, yet such a part of the wilderness around me.  In the expanse of the national forest surrounding me, I was just another beating heart along with the wild animals who shared that same space with me.  That is an exhilarating feeling, and that is why I love the outdoors.

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